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Being agile: How companies are “faking it”

By Tayla Boni, Edited by ChatGPT

Agile is a project management methodology that is meant to promote flexibility and adaptability in software development or any business process.

While Agile has gained popularity, there are companies that claim to be Agile but in fact, are faking it. This can happen when companies introduce Agile practices but do not adopt an Agile mindset. But how can companies do Agile the right way?

To start, it is important to understand what Agile is and what it is not. Agile is an umbrella term that encompasses various approaches, including Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming, to name a few. Agile is all about being able to respond to change, fail fast, and deliver a better product. Agile is not a rigid process that controls everything and allows no wiggle room. The point of Agile is to allow teams to adapt to changes that occur during the development process and improve how they work.

One common misconception about Agile is that having a Scrum master is anti-Agile. This is not true. A Scrum master is there to help facilitate and be a servant leader for an Agile team. They can help the team be more Agile and coach them to a certain degree. However, it is important to note that calling oneself a Scrum master or adopting the roles within Scrum does not make one Agile.

To do Agile the right way, it is crucial to have an Agile mindset. An Agile mindset means embracing change and being willing to fail fast. It means being open to feedback and collaboration and continuously looking for ways to improve. Companies that adopt an Agile mindset are more likely to succeed in Agile practices.

Another crucial aspect of doing Agile right is to focus on delivering value to the customer. This means identifying what the customer needs and delivering it quickly. Agile emphasizes delivering value in small increments, known as sprints. By delivering value in small increments, the team can get feedback from the customer and adjust accordingly, leading to better outcomes.

Communication is another critical component of Agile. Agile teams communicate regularly and openly, which helps to identify and address problems quickly. Communication also promotes collaboration, which is essential for Agile to succeed. Agile teams should have daily stand-up meetings where team members can discuss progress, identify problems, and plan for the day ahead.

Finally, it is crucial to measure progress when doing Agile. Agile teams should track progress by measuring how much work is completed, how much is remaining, and how long it takes to complete a task. By measuring progress, the team can identify areas where they can improve and adjust accordingly.

Doing Agile the right way requires an Agile mindset, a focus on delivering value to the customer, regular communication, and measuring progress. Companies that adopt an Agile mindset and implement Agile practices are more likely to succeed in Agile. It is essential to remember that Agile is not a rigid process but a way of thinking and working. By embracing change, failing fast, and continuously improving, companies can do Agile the right way and reap the benefits of this methodology.


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About Synthesis

Synthesis uses innovative technology solutions to provide businesses with a competitive edge today. Synthesis focuses on banking and financial institutions, retail, healthcare and telecommunications sectors in South Africa and other emerging markets.

In 2017 Capital Appreciation Limited, a JSE-listed Fintech company, acquired 100 percent of Synthesis. Following the acquisition, Synthesis remains an independent operating entity within the Capital Appreciation Group providing Cloud, Digital, Payments and RegTech services as well as corporate learning solutions through the Synthesis Academy.